Power Stone 2
|Editor Rating:||7.8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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The original Power Stone was essentially an amalgamation of two genres--fighting and platformer. While the point was to beat up your opponent one-on-one fighter style, there was also a number of platform elements tossed in, such as collecting power-ups, climbing walls, and jumping about the interactive levels. This mix proved to be a success among gamers, so it comes as no surprise that the sequel features an even greater fusion of the two genres.
Picture this: You're in the middle of a battle and all of the sudden, out of nowhere, a gigantic Indiana Jones-style boulder comes crashing into the room. The screen switches to a 2D side-scrolling perspective and you and your opponents must keep running to stay ahead of the rolling boulder. The new objective is now to trip up your opponents so the giant rock will crush them. Doesn't sound like your average fighting game, does it? Another stage allows you to jump in and out of gun turrets found on constantly submerging and resurfacing submarines. There are even vehicles that you can command this time around, including tanks and airplanes. These new levels of background interactivity help increase the action in each stage as well as make for a new element of strategy. Whereas the first game was more just a race to collect all of the Power Stones, the sequel forces you to also master your environment to become a true champion.
But the most important new feature in the sequel is something that Capcom wanted to include in the original game, but scrapped at the last minute: four-player support. Power Stone 2 allows up to four people to go at it in two-on-two matches. However, to allow all of the characters to appear on screen at once without causing too much confusion, Capcom opted to pull the camera out a bit, so the characters appear a bit smaller this time around. Otherwise, Power Stone 2 appears very similar graphically to the original--which definitely isn't a bad thing. The game still features the same crisp and clean graphics that made the first one such a showcase for the Dreamcast when it launched last year. Running in hi-res at 6ofps, with four characters at once all firing weapons, tossing around items, piloting vehicles or launching off their special attacks, PS2 is a sight to behold.
So most of the major changes to the Power Stone formula for the sequel add diversity to the gameplay, which ought to please fans while also adding replay value. It looks like the Dreamcast has yet another title on the way to solidify its reputation as the system of choice for fighting game fans.
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When the original Power Stone appeared, Capcom showed the world what a free-roaming 3D fighter with interactive environments was all about, Squaresoft and Ergheiz be damned. And for as unique a game as it was, Power Stone was a fantastic first effort. Now that the sequel has arrived in a timely fashion, Capcom doubles the pleasure with additional characters, four-player mayhem, and 3D environments that easily eclipse those seen in the first game. The four-player game is a blast. It's a frantic free-for-all filled with loads of weapons that fall into the arenas randomly. The best part, though, might be the new levels--they often change as you play, adding another element to the chaotic game-play. Battles may be interrupted in mid-fight by all manner of cataclysm: subs that surface and submerge periodically, a sky-fortress that explodes, sending all combatants hurtling earthward, or a screen-filling boulder tumbling your way, turning the arena into a side-scrolling platformer. And you have to keep fighting during all this chaos! Toss in an item shop where you can purchase goods with money plundered from other modes and you have a neat little game filled with loads of replay incentive. Unfortunately, Capcom didn't add a network mode for Internet play, but the four-player chaos should suffice. If you missed the first Power Stone, there's no reason to skip the sequel.
I wasn't a big fan of the original Power Stone, but for the sequel Capcom fixed most everything that I didn't tike about the first game. The stages, while relatively few in number, are highly imaginative and interactive, changing even as you play (the skydiving and boulder chase in particular). The sheer number of weapons and items is great by itself, but the Item Shop adds another dimension. And of course, the four-player mode is obviously a worthy upgrade. The fighting system is still pretty simple, but sometimes simple is good. Power Stone 2 fulfills the awesome potential demonstrated by the first game and is definitely worth checking out.
I found the first Power Stone pretty boring. I understand the concept, but in a fighting game with such little technique you need a lot of flash to make it interesting (read: MvC2). The biggest advancement in Power Stone's sequel is the insane levels you fight on. At certain points on every level something happens to completely change the playing field. If you're on a ship it may crash into an iceberg. A building you're on may catch fire, forcing you to climb to safety. All the while the fighting action never lets up. Fans of the first game will absolutely love this one, as the fighting action really hasn't changed. Those who disliked the first game should try this one.